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Experts consider the future of cyberspace:Shen Yi

chinadaily.com.cn Updated: 2015-12-18

Editor's Note: The World Internet Conference in the river town of Wuzhen in East China's Zhejiang province has aroused public interest about the status of the country's Internet development. Cyberspace management, Internet innovation and development were hot topics during the conference. China Daily invited five renowned Internet experts to share their views about the future. Cao Yin and Su Zhou report. 

Q1:What is the top priority, or most urgent problem, facing those managing the Internet in China?

Q2:Do you have any solutions to the problem?

Q3:How should China react when Western countries blame it for major cyberattacks?

Q4:Could you provide a blueprint for the development of Chinese cyberspace over the next five years?


Shen Yi 

Deputy director of Fudan University's Internet Governance Research Center in Shanghai 

A1: It is important for China to realize that it should find a proper way to contribute to the governance of global cyberspace - in which it is one of the most important actors - rather than only focusing on regulating the Internet inside. In the past, China has focused on the Internet within its territorial border and adopted the same approach when dealing with global Internet players in the country. This has brought many challenges. To be a key cyberpower, China has to be able to draft the code of conduct for global cyberspace. To do that, it should embrace initiatives that fit the structural requirements raised by the global cyberspace, instead of the opposite. 

A2: First, China should stop thinking of cyberspace as a virtual space that has limited impact on real society. Second, it should also be more confident about its ability to deal with uncertainties and other challenges raised by the development of global cyberspace, especially the political challenges represented by the Arab Spring. Last but not least, China should adopt a more open attitude and establish new concepts of security. To achieve that goal, China should get rid of many inappropriate practices. The first is treating cyberspace issues as pure technology issues and only relying on technology - i.e., to find a magic silver bullet - to solve all the problems. The second is regulating cyberspace as if it's about nothing more than cybercrime. The third is dealing with cybersecurity issues in a fragmented way. Instead, China should have a sophisticated, comprehensive, national cyberstrategy, as it is necessary for China to survive in the global cyberspace as a real cyberpower. 

A3: China should respond to these accusations out of its national interest. It should not take the attitude of certain countries as the rule and standard for judging its own behavior. 

China should improve its ability to detect intrusions and defend against cyberattacks, as well as improving its offensive capabilities. This is the must-do work for every great power in a networked world. At the same time, China should develop lots of mechanisms to help increase confidence and transparency on cybersecurity among the great powers. One possible solution is to duplicate the code of conduct that has already been developed between the Chinese and US navies to deal confidently with encounters on the high seas. 

A4: China should have a short-, medium- and long-term of strategy for key industries. This is necessary to improve China's ability to compete in the world. Current competition is not about a single product or technology; it is the competition of the whole industry chain, value chain and ecosystem. To make a breakthrough on key points, there should be overall planning based on technology development. 

In the short term, China should have its branded products in certain areas, just like Russia has Kaspersky. During this process, China should mobilize the private sector, instead of completely relying on State-owned enterprises. For a medium-term goal, China should develop its own operating system and all kinds of software so that it can improve its position in the ecosystem. In the long term, there are more comprehensive issues, like the chips made by China. In the whole process, China should have a national cyberstrategy reflecting the nation's interest. 

Cyberspace Administration of China
People's Government of Zhejiang Province
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
International Telecommunication Union
World Intellectual Property Organization
Secretariat of World Internet Conference (Preparatory Office)
Cyberspace Administration of Zhejiang Province
Economy and Information Technology Department of Zhejiang Province
Tongxiang Municipal People's Government
National Internet Emergency Center
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